Cheddar, the ‘CNBC for Millennials’, furloughed workers

Cheddar, the ‘CNBC for Millennials’, furloughed workers

Financial news channel Cheddar put at least some of its employees on unpaid leave on Tuesday, the latest development for the start-up that bills itself as a destination for young viewers.

The news network placed affected workers on leave, effective immediately, and prohibited employees from continuing their work, according to an email sent to employees.

“We would have liked to inform you more in advance of this action, but this decision was necessitated by unknown internal and external factors that required rapid adjustments to our business strategy,” said the email, seen by the New York Times.

Altice USA, the cable company that owns Cheddar, announced last week that it had sold the network to Archetype, a media company owned by California investment firm Regent LP. Archetype’s holdings include a portfolio of titles focused on military history, including Army Times and Defense News, as well as sites including the popular review platform RateMyProfessors.

It’s unclear how many Cheddar employees were affected by this decision. Representatives for Regent and Archetype did not respond to requests for comment.

Like many digital media startups, Cheddar has struggled in recent years in a tough market for online advertising. In June, Altice USA laid off the hosts of some popular Cheddar shows, as well as much of its production team.

Cheddar was part of an ambitious group of digital media companies that promised to embrace the Internet and video streaming to disrupt their traditional counterparts. Its founder, Jon Steinberg, was a former BuzzFeed executive who struck a series of deals to put Cheddar’s brand of chatty financial news programs in front of people wherever they are, including at the pump gasoline.

Cheddar’s programming includes shows like “Stretching Your Dollar” — a daily live show from the New York Stock Exchange — and “Ready 4 Work,” a documentary series that follows job seekers trying to navigate the ‘economy. One of Cheddar’s biggest revelations came in 2018, when the network reported that AT&T was considering acquiring online advertising company AppNexus for about $2 billion.

Altice United States bought Cheddar – then a venture capital-funded media startup – for around $200 million in 2019.

Cheddar’s new parent company, Regent, has invested in media, technology, retail and consumer products, including the Club Monaco, Zulily and eBay brands. The company has acquired more than 30 companies since 2015 and its portfolio companies employ more than 20,000 people worldwide.

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David B.Otero

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